|Africa News Digest
Alabama Rep: ICC Indictment Is British Imperial Operation
April 1 (EIRNS)Alabama State Representative Thomas Jackson (D) hit the International Criminal Court's indictment of Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, calling it a British imperial operation, in a high-powered letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on March 6. Jackson urged the Obama Administration to steer clear of it.
Jackson travelled to Sudan with a Schiller Institute delegation in 1996. In the letter, he mentions his association with the LaRouche movement and cites Lyndon LaRouche's good work in exposing Tony Blair's phony intelligence boosting the Iraq War. But the British, he says, are now doing it again.
The letter says the indictment, which is "legally dubious," is aggravating the crisis in Sudan, and the real issue is "the role of British-allied imperial forces in creating and using the ICC to further an agenda that smacks of racism and unlawful intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations."
Jackson states that the ICC was created by associates of Tony Blair and George Soros. He also spells out the connections of Soros to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, and to "another key instigator of the Bashir indictment," Lord Mark Malloch-Brown."
The Bashir indictment, Jackson says, "has nothing to do with Darfur, and everything to do with overthrowing an elected head of state in Africa," which could lead to "an endless bloodbath in Africa." He concludes by offering to "assist you in any way in formulating U.S. policy on this critical subject."
Natsios: Reorient Toward a Political Solution for Sudan
March 31 (EIRNS)Andrew Natsios, George W. Bush's special envoy to Sudan, yesterday told an audience of 250 at Georgetown Universitymostly studentsthat focus of U.S. foreign policy towards Sudan should be to assist the peace process between the North and the South, based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, implying that the Darfur conflict should not be made central. "In Sudan, you cannot have peace and justice. Peace must prevail," he said, and the U.S. should train the military in the South, help develop the South economically, and work on a political settlement in Sudan to help "stitch the country back together."
Natsios was not optimistic, however. He ended his presentation by saying, "If people think the worst is behind them, they don't know Sudan."
Concerning Darfur, Natsios' most pointed statement was in answer to a student who asked what the Save Darfur Coalition should do now? He replied that if there were a negotiated peace between Khartoum and the Darfur rebel groups, the U.S. Congress would go ballistic in opposing it. "You have to help Congress to understand that a political settlement is necessary," he said, adding that Congress is afraid of the student movement on Darfur. The movement must change course, he said. His remarks on the so-called International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Bashir made clear that he didn't see the warrant as part of the solution.
Asked by EIR's Lawrence Freeman about U.S. UN Ambassador Susan Rice's Sudan policy, her claim of "ongoing genocide," and her influence on President Obama, Natsios replied that Rice is one of many voices in the Obama Administration, but that her policy has failed. "I used to support the same policyit failed," he said. Natsios added that Obama is in the realist campas opposed to the ideologues like Riceand his new special envoy, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Scott Gration, could make an effort for a negotiated settlement. Natsios admitted that it was he himself who proposed a no-fly zone over Darfur at a National Security Council meeting in April 2004, "but I had to reconsider that strategy," because it is having the opposite of the intended effects.
If Sudan collapsed, Natsios concluded, it will have profound effects on the entire Horn and Central Africa.
Natsios: Bashir Arrest Warrant Has Weakened Authority of the ICC
March 31 (EIRNS)Andrew Natsios told an audience at Georgetown University yesterday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) had weakened its own authority by issuing an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Natsios noted that Bashir is travelling unhindered, despite the warrant. (He has gone to Eritrea, Egypt, Libya, and Qatar, despite Prosecutor "Loco Luis" Moreno Ocampo's handwaving about snatching him when he leaves Sudan's airspace.)
Natsios enumerated other consequences of the warrant as follows:
* It has strengthened the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) internally. Eighteen months ago, the NCP was much weaker and had to seek allies to stay in power.
* It has strengthened Bashir's government vis-à-vis Arab and African governments. Natsios said three Arab governments had told him they dislike Bashir's policy in Darfur, but after the ICC attack, they and the African Union have rallied to his support.
* The ICC has diverted Khartoum's attention from the central issue, the upcoming elections under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between North and South. The diversion endangers the CPA and relations between North and South generally.
Prosecutor's Sleaziness Threatens ICC Existence
April 2 (EIRNS)The behavior of the chief prosecutor of the so-called International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, is so scandalous, that friends of the court say its very existence may be threatened.
Julie Flint and Alex de Waal, co-authors of Darfur: A New History of a Long War, have authored an attack on Moreno in the Spring 2009 issue of World Affairs entitled, "Case Closed: A Prosecutor Without Borders." The final paragraph includes this: "Lawyers and investigators who served in the OTP [Office of the Prosecutor], and who count among the brightest and the best of their profession, say they believe the Court's reputation, and perhaps even its life, is at risk."
But, they say, it would be very difficult to remove Loco Luis.
Based on conversations with many current and former lawyers in the OTP, and other employees, they draw a picture of a man who cares more about grandstanding for the media than he does about gathering evidence against an accused, apprehending an accused, or following the ICC's own rules of handling evidence. But there is more.
Moreno runs the OTP like a crazed dictator. Many lawyers have left in despair. "Some tried to raise concerns, privately deploring the absence of 'a culture in which objectivity and a critical review of the evidence with all its shades drives the institution.' A key member of the OTP left, saying privately that he was fearful of having to defend an indefensible position a few years down the line. A second followed, saying the Prosecutor ran the OTP like a medieval kingdom. A third told us the OTP was run 'like a police state,' with a 'culture of fear' that was 'very real,' and 'sapping.' He quit too."
Flint and de Waal blame Bashir's expulsion of aid groups supporting internally displaced persons, on Moreno's arrest warrant for Bashir: "Many Sudanese fear[ed] that an arrest warrant could make things significantly worse, perhaps bringing about the very sorts of atrocities that the ICC is meant to deter.... Although the Prosecutor is obliged to consider the interests of victims when bringing a prosecution, this section of his report ran to just four lines and failed to consider that the three million had a very obvious interest in a humanitarian operation that was keeping them alive. Minutes after the arrest warrant was issued, Khartoum began expelling relief agencies...."
This disregard for who will be hurt by his actions, echoes his role in Argentina in the 1980s, when he was prosecuting those guilty of terrible crimes under the former dictatorship. One survivor, journalist Miriam Lewin, said, "No survivor wanted to talk to him. We felt he didn't respect us at all. We found him distant and unaware of what was going on."
And then, there is the tape-recorded evidence indicating that he raped, or attempted to rape, a South African journalist while on ICC business in South Africa in March 2005. Moreno ordered the evidence destroyed, but it survived. He will probably never be tried for this alleged crime, but the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labor Organization in Geneva did not consider the evidence insubstantial. That proceeding arose from Moreno's summary firing of an ICC employee for accusing him of the rape or attempted rape. The ICC paid the EU248,000 fine levied on Moreno for that.